Two years after his arrest, Seminole Heights serial killer awaits trial

By The Numbers

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – It was two years ago today when a McDonald’s manager called law enforcement after being asked by an employee to keep an eye on his gun. Her phone call led to the arrest of the alleged Seminole Heights serial killer.

Howell Emanuel Donaldson III, then 24, is now charged with four counts of first-degree murder in the shooting deaths of Benjamin Mitchell, Monica Hoffa, Anthony Naiboa and Ronald Felton in 2017.

The victims had no connection to one another, and law enforcement called their murders random.

During the 51 days between the first murder and Donaldson’s arrest, law enforcement received more than 5,000 tips connected to the case, adding up to 800 pages.

Community business-owners, philanthropists, FDLE, Crime Stoppers, ATF and the FBI pulled together more than $100,000 in reward money for the arrest of a suspect. Law enforcement contributed $85,000 of that total.

As Donaldson has moved through court-ordered status checks and mental competency hearings, attorneys have reviewed more than 30,000 documents surrounding the case.

Donaldson’s defense attorneys told 8 On Your Side early this year that they have more than 300 witnesses to interview in the case.

In August, a judge set his pretrial hearing for Aug. 4, 2020.

Donaldson’s trial is scheduled for Aug. 10, 2020, at 8:30 a.m.


Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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